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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

408                                                  INDIAN CASTE.
of contemporary society. Impartially judged by either standard, tne authority
of the Code will be found materially shaken. Its theories of origin are as
devoid of Tedic confirmation as its pictures of existent society are irreconcilable
with the testimony of all independent literature, whatever the age in which it
was produced. If such a clearly defined fourfold division ever existed, how
happens it tliat one-half of the division remains in full force to the present day
while the other moiety has sunk into absolute oblivion? The Brahmanical
order is still a living entity, and the Kshatriya is adequately represented
in modern speech by the word Thakur, or Bajpot, while the Vaisya and Siidra
have so completely disappeared—both In name and fact—that an unlettered
Hindu will neither understand the words when lie hears them, nor recognize
the classes implied when their meaning is explained to him.
And not only is this the case in the present day, but it appears to have
been so all along. In the great epic poems, in the dramas, and the whole
range of miscellaneous literature, the sacerdotal and military classes are every-
where recognized, and mention of them crops up involuntarily in every fami-
liar narrative. But with Yaisya and Siidra it is far different. These words
(I speak under correction) never occur as caste names, except with deliberate
reference to the Manava Code* They might be expunged both from the Rama-
yana and the Mahabbarat without impairing the integrity of either composi-
tion. Only a few moral discourses, which are unquestionably late Brahmani-
cal interpolations, and one entire episodiacal narrative, would have to be sacri-
ficed ; the poem in all essentials would be left intact. But should we proceed
In the same way to strike out the Brahman and the Kshatriya, the whole
framework of the poem would Immediately collapse. There is abundant
mention of Dhivaras and Napitas, Sutradharas and Kumbhakaras, Mahajanas
an-l Banlje>; but no comprehension of them all under two heads in the same
familiar way that all chieftains are Kshatriyas, and all priests and litterateurs,
Brahmans.
It is also noteworthy that Manu, in Ms 12th book, where he classifies gods
ani men according to their quality (guna), omits the Vaisya altogether ; and,
again, In the Xdi Parvan of the Itahabharat (v. 3139) we read__
Bralsma-Kshatiadaya® tasmld Manor jitas tu manavah,
Tata' bhsvad, Maharaja, Brahma Kakattrem sang&tain.*
From which it would seem that the writer recognized a definite connection
between the Brahman and the Kshatriya, while all the rest of mankind were
* * Brfemam, Kslmteiy* *nd the rest of mankind ipnang from this Maati. From him, Sire
ewe tb0 Briinasn conjoined with the Kibttiijft."